Antarctica is pushed into the earth by the weight of its ice sheets If they melted, it would “spring back” about 500m (1 625 ft). It would do this very slowly taking about 10,000 years to do so. No place on Earth compares to this vast white wilderness of elemental forces: snow, ice, water, rock. Antarctica is simply stunning.
Antarctica’s surreal remoteness, extreme cold, enormous ice shelves and mountain ranges, and myriad exotic life forms invariably challenge you to embrace life fully. Everyone, scientist, support worker, government official and tourist alike who comes to this isolated continent, must ‘earn’ it, whether by sea-voyage or flight. Ice and weather, not clocks and calendars, determine the itinerary and the timetable of all travel here. Expect experiences unlike any other, whether whale-watching across the open sea, spying a penguin rookery, or framing that perfect photograph of an awe inspiring ice-form. It’s even possible for visitors to climb Antarctic peaks, or kayak icy waters. But there is nothing quite like the craggy crevasses of a magnificent glacier or the sheer expanse of the polar ice cap.
This continent, preserved by the Antarctic Treaty, is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary species, adapted to life in their unique home. Some migrate far and wide, like the enormous whales, others remain close to the continent, like the Weddell seal and the emperor penguin.
Millions of seabirds skim the Southern Ocean, the world’s most abundant ocean…species like far-flung albatrosses and petrels circle these waters. Antarctic wildlife is generally unafraid of people. Visitors usually elicit no more than an uninterested yawn from seals and penguins focused on rearing their young and evading predators. The human reaction is, ironically, exactly opposite.
1) Meeting the Penguins
When you first lay eyes on these ever-anthropomorphized birds, you’ll know you’ve arrived in the Antarctic. From the tiny tuxedo-clad Adélie and the bushy-browed macaroni, to the world’s largest penguin, the fabulously debonair emperor, the Antarctic offers a chance to see these unique creatures on their own turf: sea, ice and shore. Spot them shooting out of the water, tobogganing along the ice or in cacophonous rookeries which are a sight to behold: squawking, gamboling birds, hatching, molting and caring for their young. King penguins.
2) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
First reached just 100 years ago by the valiant explorer Roald Amundsen during the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration, the South Pole still embodies myth, hardship and glory. Today it is topped by a new high-tech station surrounded by cutting-edge astrophysical observation equipment (including a neutrino detector array buried approximately 1.9 km below the ice). To the visitor, a photo op with the flapping flags and globe-topped pole, is, indeed, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
3) Cruising the Lemaire Channel
The sheer-sided Lemaire Channel is a perennial favorite for photography buffs and naturalists alike. Under pale-pink skies, glaciers tumble slow-motion to the sea from the mountains overhead. Your Zodiac glides past a floe topped by basking Weddell seals, another crowded by a noisy group of gentoo penguins. Nearby, an enormous female leopard seal sleeps off a recent meal. Small cruise ship passing through the Lemaire Channel
4) Cape Evans
Reaching Ross Island’s Cape Evans isn’t easy – but then again, it never was. Dog skeletons bleach on the sand in the Antarctic sun, chiding memento mori of Captain Robert Scott’s death march from the Pole. Inside Scott’s hut from that ill-fated Terra Nova expedition a collection of sledging pennants, rustling pony harnesses and a sighing wind evoke the doomed men who left here with high hopes of reaching the pole. Explore the captain’s bunkroom, and peer at the perfectly preserved provisions and photographic supplies. Wooden cross near Scott’s Hut
5) Paradise Harbor
The pragmatic whalers who worked in the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula at the beginning of the 20th century were hardly sentimental. Yet they named this harbor Paradise, obviously quite taken with the stunning icebergs and reflections of the surrounding mountains. Gentoos and shags call the area home, and a climb up the hill here offers magnificent glacier views. If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll see one calving.
6) Deception Island
Deceptive in more ways than one, with its secret harbor, slopes of ash-covered snow and hidden chinstrap penguin rookery at Baily Head, Deception Island offers the rare opportunity to sail inside a volcano. Now classified as having ‘a significant volcanic risk,’ Deception remains a favorite for the industrial archaeology of its abandoned whaling station, half-destroyed by an eruption-induced mudflow and flood. Some will stop for a quick dip in the island’s heated geothermal currents.
7) Antarctica Museum at Port Lockroy
Each year, tens of thousands of visitors flock to Britain’s beautifully restored Bransfield House, the main building of Base A, built at Port Lockroy ( Click here ) during WWII. Not only does it offer the chance to spend up big at the well-stocked souvenir shop and to mail postcards at the busy post office, the museum’s old wooden skis, clandestine 1944 radio transmitter and wind-up HMV gramophone are evocative artifacts of the explorers who once lived for years at this wilderness outpost.
You can’t travel to Antarctica on your own as a tourist as there is no regular transport (flights / ships) for independent travellers. Look around and compare prices. There are TONS of agencies that do Antarctica expeditions. You do not need any sort of visa but you do need your passport (as you will likely be leaving out of Ushuaia in Chile). The ship kept our passports during the entire trip and only returned them to us at the end. Some of the agengies are Abercrombie, Adventure Associates and Adenture Consultants and so on..
Rio Serrnao Hotel, La Eastansia and Hosteria Lago Tyndall are some of the hotels resides in the region of Antarctica. You can use the Accommodation search to book the hotels.
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Have a nice trip to Antarctica